improved farming techniques, key material, cultivated land, garment industry, peanuts
China has 7 percent of the world’s arable land with which to support more than 20 percent of the world’s population. Over the centuries, the Chinese have built irrigation projects to the extent that almost half of cultivated land is now irrigated. China long had a food deficit, but as a result of new irrigation projects, improved farming techniques since 1949, and agricultural reforms since the late 1970s, China now produces enough grain to provide a basic diet for its large population. In lean years, however, the country occasionally must import grains. China's agriculture is also a major source of raw materials for the country’s industries. Chinese cotton, for example, is a key material supplied to the garment industry.
In 1998 China produced the world’s largest share of grains, meats, cotton, and peanuts. China ranked second in production of tea, sugar cane, and rapeseed (used to make lubricants and cooking oil) and fourth in the production of soybeans. The country also produced most of the world’s mulberry silk cocoons.
>> Organization of Agricultural Activity
>> Agricultural Planning and Improvement
>> Food and Oilseed Crops
>> Fiber Crops
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